Independence Day in Belarus Date in the current year: July 3, 2016

Independence Day in Belarus Independence Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Belarus celebrated on July 3. It commemorates the liberation of Minsk from Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

Originally Independence Day of Belarus commemorated the country's independence from the Soviet Union declared on July 27, 1990. However, in 1996 President Alexander Lukashenko proposed to move the holiday to July 3 in order to celebrate the liberation of Belarus from the Nazis. The proposal was supported by almost 90% of voters during the 1996 referendum.

Belarus was the hardest-hit Soviet republic during the Second World War. In was invaded by Nazi Germany on June 22, 1941 in the course of Operation Barbarossa. By August 1941, all of its territory was occupied by Nazis.

In summer 1944, the Soviet Union launched Operation Bagration, also know as the Belorussian Strategic Offensive Operation. It cleared German forces from Belarus and eastern Poland. The capital of Belarus was liberated on July 3, 1944.

Independence Day is the national day of Belarus. It is marked with numerous festivities, including military parades, cultural events and firework displays held throughout the country. The largest celebrations takes place in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

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